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I see it all the time. People complain that they cannot make money online no matter how hard they work at it. Or the flip side of this are the people that think they can easily make millions of dollars online with little work.

Even if you do fall into one of these categories of people, it is good once in a while to review what you are doing to see if there areas that you can improve on to increase the results of your online marketing effort.

Today I look at 35 top reasons people fail and what to do about each so you too can succeed like millions of other online marketers who are making very good money online.

Let’s get started… 

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Remember that Internet marketing is not any different from other business that you start. If you are going it alone the same obstacles and challenges that you find in any other business are there.

The only difference is the setting – your business is internet based as opposed to a bricks and mortar operation. In some cases it will be a combination of both, in that you sell physical products online

If you have tried sales in the past and not had success, do not think that you can sell online without making some changes that were keeping you from selling before.

You have to do an honest review of your actions and become a better business person, taking cues and guidance from others that are succeedingplus look at your basic business practices to improve them.

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Failure # 1 – Your Attitude

Remember that in business, you are always in competition with others that are selling products, and often ones that are just like yours.

If you start out with the wrong attitude, you have lost to that competition before you start.

Think of it like a game or a sporting contest. You do not start the game by thinking you are going lose, right? If you do fall behind while playing the game, you don’t just quit or stop playing.

When you play that game you make your best effort to the very end, taking action to raise your score and try to beat the other teams or players. The game can always be turned around in your favor, right up to the last minute.

In that light, it is the same attitude as when playing a game that you must use when you enter the internet marketing sales world.  If you think you will fail, you will.

Also just like a game, if you fail to plan to win, you are planning to fail.

How many people do you know that make excuses why they didn’t or couldn’t do something. They had these excuses ready from the start “just in case” they failed.

I say that in reality they were planning to fail! They never had the right attitide to do the thing they said they were going to do. In reality their excuses they readied became like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Their failure began the moment they didn’t believe in themselves and prepared the excuses.

Remember that as with any business, there will be good and bad times, and you will not always have instant or massive success with online marketing. Take the long term view, believe in yourself, and stick to your work plan and your business plan.

Failure # 2 – Overestimating Strengths and Underestimating Weaknesses

Every business is a reflection of the owner who creates it, and Internet marketing is no different. If your strength is in structuring a product lineup and not in sales, then you have to get people on your team who can cover the weakness, while you cover the strength.

Sit down right now and carefully assess any businesses you’ve created in the past. What were you good at? What did you fail at? Learning from failure is the key to success.

Those people who fail to learn from their mistakes, as it is said, are doomed to repeat them.

Therefore, you already have a fertile history of what types of obstacles you might encounter in this new venture, and can prepare an alternate plan to get you past them even before they occur.

False Expectations Can Trip You…

If you’ve heard that you can make BIG money on the Internet, it’s true. You can. Will you make it immediately? While some people appear to have done so overnight, the truth is that they have gathered those skills over time until, one day, it all came together for them.

If you think that all you have to do to make money on the Internet is to put up a website and wait for people to show up, you have a set of false expectations that are completely unrealistic.

Here are the three biggest misconceptions to Internet marketing that will only lead to disappointment if they’re not tempered with some common sense.

Failure # 3 – Thinking That When Starting An Online Marketing Business You Can Immediately Quit Your Day Job

In the time I have been in the online marketing field, I cannot tell how many people have told me of their intent to quit their jobs as soon as they have a website up and running.

Here is my advice to these people always: If you have a job, keep it, at least until you have replaced the income with online sales that you were making at that job.

It takes some time to lerrn all the ins and outs of internet marketing, and it is best if you learn it and work it as a side business until your efforts are producing sizeable income for you.

If you have a steady source of income already, of course then you cn quit that job. I still would recommend setting some monetary goals for your online business, realistic ones that you can attain.

As you get started and do reach the modest goals you hopefully have set for yourself, then you can increase these goals. Over time, as your income increases more and more, then quite that job!

Failure # 4 – You Believe That Online Marketing Doesn’t Take Much Time To Learn

I am not a newbie in online marketing business anymore. Over the past 15 months I have been frantically taking a lot of courses and tutorials that have provided me a good base for being able to have success at online marketing.

It has been a long joourney and the time has gone fast, because I really enjoy working in this field. Because I like it, it seems less like school and more like exploring how better to conduct onlne marketing.

The point is that there is a LOT of information to know and you will not learn it all in a week, or by working 30 minutes a day. You need to commit to a set amount of time that you will regularly spend working the online business.

Plan what it is that you need to get done and wheat you would like to get done in the time alloted, then plan on interim goals you will achieve and complete. Then start working that plan. Regularly.

Expect that this work and time will be required before you make a single penny and be ready for that. This business is a good way to make a decent income, but only if you have a good base and sepnd the effort to make it that way.

Failure # 5 – Thinking “If I Build It They Will Come”

In the early days of internat marketing, this was more often than not the case. It was all new and you could literally do almost anything and make some good money online.

No more.

Today the Internet is full of competing sites for most niches. People visiting these sites are much more savvy than they were even 5 years ago.

So do not expect that you can just put up a blog or a website and watch people flock to it and buy everything you are selling on it.

The more realistic scenario is that you will get one or two visitors a day through organic searches, and little to no sales. This is when you start thinking about traffic.

That’s also where learning the art of marketing starts…

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Failure # 6 – You Try To Be Too Perfect

Repeat after me: You do not have to be perfect in everything that you touch to start making progress with your online marketing business.

There are some essentials however…

You do need a solid niche and an online presence of some type to expose niche members to your offerings, so you will have to drive traffic that is targeted to your chosen demographic.

Remember that as nice as it might be to have a fancy, colorful, and perfect looking website, it’s simply not as important as having a good marketing plan that drives traffic to that site.

So instead of wasting tons of cash putting up a very complex site that looks wonderful, think more in terms of getting up a simple, fast to build site.

It could be that you will want to try several niches to see which will work best for you. Havinf sites that can go up quickly will save you lots of time and effort.

Then you also do not have so much invested and can without remorse switch to another niche if it is indicated. 

Failure # 7 – You Select A Dead Niche

This is a mistake I have seen many make. They have a passion in one niche or another, and do not do any research to see if there is money to be made in it.

They spend a lot of time making a decent website, more time adding good content to the site, and then expect they will make lots of money.

Because they only researched the market for that niche AFTER they did all that work and got zero results, they ended up wasting a lot and having to start over again with another niche.

So I recommend that you research any niche prior to spending a lot of time, money and effort on it. Do this research before you pick a domain name that will support your niche you will target.

Doing this you also will have a good idea of just how much success you can reasonably expect and what kind of money there will be for your work.  You can avoid those loser niches totally.

When researching a niche that is of interest to you, you can start by checking the competition quickly. Just entering some search terms related to the niche on Google search, you will get all kinds of results.

Look through some of these results, and then check them out on or another site that will give you some of the demographics the site has and you can judge whether or not the niche can attract a sufficient level of traffic so you know that you can reasonably expect to be able to market and monetize the niche.

As you do the research look at the kinds and prices for products that people are buying in the niche. Will these sales support what your goals may be? Do you have a unique way to market to the members of the niche? Once you have done such research and found a fewe niches, then look to see what kind of domain names are available.

Failure # 8 – Your Domain Name  Is WHAT?

You want to get a domain name that is descriptive of your niche and also a top-level domain name (TLD) that is easily remembered, has a catchy tone to it, and isn’t easy to misspell.

Try to avoid using hyphens and other odd characters as these are very hard for people to remember. Also, make the domain all one word. Go to GoDaddy, NameCheap,  Hostgator or similar to see if the domain name is available.

As you select a domain, consider also the hosting you will need for your website and maybe you can get a package to buy the domain host your website too. There are lots of options, so spend some time looking at them and select the best one for your needs…

Failure # 9 – You Proudly Save Pennies On Hosting While You Lose Thousands In Sales

There are multiple Web hosts out there that offer packages for a basic website with limited e-commerce, and they step up to include that service too.

While you’re learning how to do this whole website thing, it is better for you to grab a package that puts up a website pretty quickly without too much of a learning curve on your part. You can do that by setting up a blog, which anyone can do, using

Hosting sites like will give you instant installations of the most popular website packages without having to learn a single line of code.

Pay upfront for one year, and you avoid extra charges, including setup fees, in some cases. This way, you won’t be billed on a monthly basis, and if the website fails, you can simply let it expire and move on to a more profitable one.

Failure # 10 – You Do Not Understand What Makes A Good Website

If you’re still stumped about what to do to get a website up and need a little HTML training, why not get someone to show you? There’s no reason you have to go it alone for this entire process, and what you don’t know, you should hire out.

The idea is to get as many of these basic sites up as you can reasonably manage and leave them somewhat basic until you know whether you can drive enough traffic to them to make them profitable.

Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect; just get them up quickly. If you’re worried about looks, just check out Twitter. It has got one of the most basic and ugliest interfaces around, yet there are millions of users on this site.

You do want your site to look professional, but not so perfect that you spend a fortune getting it there. Keep it simple, put them up quickly, and get it done fast.

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Failure # 11 – You Do Not Add New and Useful Content Frequently Enough

Once it is up, you need to update the content fairly frequently to keep people coming back to your site. If you only update once a month, people will quickly forget to check back with you, and you will lose traffic instead of gaining it.

If you get writer’s block and just don’t update the content on your site, you risk the chance of letting your site go stale. You can hire ghostwriters to add content to your blogs and websites for a small fee.

Failure # 12 – You Think You Do Not Need SEO

Learn what you can about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This way, when you hire someone to write content, it can include SEO techniques to make it search engine friendly by adding keywords that attract visitors to your site and that make you money.

This is the very first step to optimizing your site so that it becomes not only popular, but a moneymaker. Without a plan to make money from the site, it will never be a success in Internet marketing.

Failure # 13 – You Have No Idea How To Make Money Online

In a brick-and-mortar store, all a business owner does is set out his/her merchandise, do a little advertising, and if he/she got a good enough location, buyers will come.

Taking this approach is deadly online. Not having a solid plan to make money with the site was a main reason for the biggest failures of the dot-com bust, and is still a big mistake for beginners.

How do you expect to make money from your website? Internet marketing is about making money, so if you haven’t got a plan, you are planning to fail.

Failure # 14 – You Are Selling Lousy Products or Services

The first idea that comes to mind for ways that business owners can make money is to offer a product or service…

That’s great!

You should include your products and services on your website, as well as include those affiliate offers that give you commissions for sales of other people’s products and services on your site.

You have to be a bit selective on the types of products and services that you offer on your site so that they match the demographics of the people visiting you.

You can’t market very high-end products to low-income people. Always keep your demographics in mind when picking the products and services that you will offer.

Failure # 15 – You Are Not Offering Enough Products or Services

If you only offer one or two products, once your audience buys these, what happens next?

Make sure you have many products and services in your lineup so that no matter how much your audience buys, there’s always something new to consider purchasing.

Having too few offers is one of the many ways in which you can fail to achieve significant income with your site.


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Failure # 16 – You Are Selling Things You Have No Idea About

Be very careful when you start listing affiliate offers in your lineup of products and services. Your reputation is on the line, even if you’re not the one providing the product and are just the salesperson making the offer.

The best offers to put up on your site are those that you have some experience with or have a good deal of confidence in the person selling them.

You don’t want to put up offers that end up resulting in fraudulent claims and/or that make your customers unhappy. You will be the one that ends up with the blame, not the unknown product creator or provider.

Your site is representative of your good name. Take pains to keep your reputation as clean as possible and listen closely to customer feedback on affiliate offers. Remove any that fail to live up to their rhetoric.

Failure # 17 – You Are Not Looking At All The Options To Make Money

Selling products and services is just one way to make money online. You may even find that it’s not the biggest portion of your income if your site gets very popular.

Try to expand your moneymaking capabilities so that you aren’t limiting yourself to a brick-and-mortar model of selling only a product or a service.

People make money online in many different ways. It’s important to understand these models and to implement them to expand the ways to increase your income potential.

Failure # 18 – You Are Not Tapping All the Revenue Streams Affiliate Marketing Offers

When first getting into affiliate marketing, you will see many pay-per-click or pay-per-sale models available to choose from within your affiliate network, the most popular being the Google AdSense PPC program.

These offers depend on people coming to your site and clicking on the links you set up. A pay-per-click (PPC) offer will pay you at most a few dollars for the click, and usually a few cents for each time a person clicks a link.

A pay-per-sale will pay a percentage commission that depends on the affiliate offer, but is much harder to generate due to the action requested, completing a sale.

Along with PPC offers, there are cost-per-action (CPA) affiliate offerings that can generate income from your site.

These offers pay out much better than PPC and only ask that a specific action be taken by the visitor, which can be to fill out a survey, add their email to a registration form, or opt-into a newsletter.

The action can also be a sale, but there are many CPA offers that are looking just for sales leads, not for actual sales. These are far easier to market on your site and lead to more income because a visitor isn’t being asked to purchase anything.

Rather they may be asked just to complete some action that will eventually put money in your pocket, even though it’s not directly obvious to the visitor.

Failure # 19 – You Are Not Open To Exploration of Other Ways To Make Money Online

You can also make money via advertising space on your website.

If the site becomes very popular, advertisers will line up to put their ad or banner on your page and give you a monthly stipend for that exposure.

This can happen with traditional websites and with blogs too. That’s just another way that you can exploit the website you have to create income without doing much additional work.

You can make money by putting up search engines that pay for every time that someone searches your site.

You can also set up a membership area where special content is given to members for a monthly fee.

You can offer discount coupons on your site to your offline businesses and reduce the cost of printing offline, thus creating more money in your retail budget.

There are many ways to make money online that are different than what you currently know.

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Failure # 20 – You Have Not Planned Your Sales Pipeline

Even with all of these offers lined up, if you don’t have a plan for what to present first, it can get rather confusing, for both you and for the prospective customer.

Online, you need to plan out a sales pipeline and always keep some offer in front of your prospective client. You should know what they’ve seen before and what they’re going to see next.

You should plan out and understand how demographics will affect your pipeline too. Once you have an email list with people’s names on it who have agreed to be marketed to, it’s up to you to make sure that they hear about you and your business on a regular basis.

It’s not like a regular retail store where they might take the chance to go to your site to buy some particular item.

Instead, they will be hopping all over the Web, and unless you repeatedly pull them back to your site, they will soon forget all about you.

The sales pipeline thus serves two purposes: it’s informational and it’s for sales.

Failure # 21 – You Have Not Segmented Your Lead Lists

For all of your sites, you might have one master contact list that sends out information emails about where you are and where your business is headed.

It can discuss business interruptions and other procedural things that have nothing to do with sales. They can be entertaining, but are generally used for the purpose of relaying vital information that everyone on all of your lists needs to know.

After that, each site should have its own contact lists, and they should be categorized based on demographics.

If you have a three-tiered group of products and services, low-income, middle-income, and high-income brackets, then you should separate people’s email addresses based on that information and market different products from those categories to the right group.

If you don’t know what demographic they belong to, just stick them in the low-income bracket until they actually buy a product and give you a better idea.

Every now and then, offer them a product from the next grouping to see if they bite. Then, if they do bite, move them to the new list and market those products to them regularly.

Failure # 22 – Your Sales Pipeline Is Too Short-sighted

You should now have a good idea of when you are sending out emails, to whom you are sending out emails, and what products and services are being offered in your email campaigns and online.

You should know when a holiday promotion is in order and what you plan to do about that to generate income.

It seems like a lot of work, but it will make the operation of your website smoother and more profitable in the end.

Failure # 23 – You Are Not Promoting Your Site

We talked about the false expectation that if you build it, they will come. Putting out several money buckets to monetize the site for when visitors arrive is just the first step.

You also have to heavily promote the site to get visitors to show up. As a single person online, you don’t have the same resources to advertise a massive campaign on television, radio, and in newsprint.

Instead, your choices are going to be limited to what you can do online. Prime the pump by starting to toot your own horn as quickly as the sites go up.

Have a marketing campaign set up to go with content to distribute; then when the site goes live, you can start the promotion. Having some simple methods that you can use to promote your site online ready helps get things kick-started.

Failure # 24 – You Have Not Set Up An Autoresponder and Are Not Using Email Signature Space

Set up different email addresses for each website and add an automatic signature that promotes the site or a recently featured product or service, CPA offer, or anything else that can make money for you.

Now, when people email the site and you respond, the signature is inserted and automatically promotes something of value to you and to your customer.

This way you can automatically segment your lists and push pormotions that they will be interested in using email…

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Failure # 25 – You Do Not Promote Your Site and Products or Services

Write up press releases for all new products and services that you are offering and make sure to go online and add them to press release sites.

You can buy a service that will take one press release and post it to multiple sites. As long as you have your Web address and what you are offering, it’s a great way to promote across the Web and to gain more traffic to your site.

Failure # 26 – You Write Boring Or Useless Articles

You can also submit informative articles to article directories for free. If you write up a great article and it gets lots of attention, it can bring loads of traffic to your site.

In the resource box included with these articles, you are allowed to post two links. Choose what you advertise there carefully and be sure to stay within the terms of agreement of the site for those links.

Failure # 27 – You See No Need To Update Your  Social Networks

Use an automatic service like to send out status updates on new offerings to all of your social networks. This way, you centralize those functions, but still get the word out to everyone.

Failure # 28 – You Are Not Tracking Your Results

After all this work, you probably will have some idea on whether your strategies are working on not by tracking the bottom line.

That’s just the very basic way of tracking your Internet marketing success.

The three main things you want to track to tweak further for better results are traffic, conversions, and marketing effectiveness.

Failure # 29 – You Have No Idea About Your Traffic

Your website will track traffic by way of the unique visitors and hits to the site, along with other statistics.

While that’s a good way to know how popular your site is, it tells you very little about where your main streams of traffic are coming from.

Taking a further look, you see what countries give you the most hits and which sites as well…

If you’re testing a specific promotion, however, it doesn’t really show up unless you take the time to use a URL shortener that will track how many specific hits to that link showed up on different days.

Include techniques to view traffic and analyze it in as many ways as possible.

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Failure # 30 – You Do Not Track Conversions

Conversions typically refer to converting a visitor into a customer. However, if you are using CPA offers, you may just be converting them into someone who completes an action that delivers money to your pocket.

You may want a free area where people subscribe and convert from an anonymous visitor to someone with an email account. There are numerous conversions that can show you how well your site is doing and where it needs more work.

Failure # 31. You Do Not Measure Marketing Effectiveness

When you do email campaigns, wouldn’t it be nice to know how many people opened your emails and clicked your offers?

Using a system like, you can automate your sales pipeline and also track the effectiveness of your email campaigns, down to the emails and links that got the most attention.

This helps you to start to recognize what works with your audience and what doesn’t.

Split testing is another way to test the marketing effectiveness of different sales pages. This can be done with email marketing too, but it’s often used with Web pages.

The idea is to set up two different versions of a sales offer and send half of the traffic to one Web page and the other half to the other Web page.

The one that has a better conversion rate is the better advertisement, even if all that was changed was a title or the position of a “Buy Now!” button.

Failure # 32 – You Decide That You Will Make a Go Of It On Your Own

The worst thing a budding Internet marketer can do is to go it alone.

Whether it’s trying to do everything manually and not using tools to make the process more efficient, a lack of networking, or a failure to listen to the experts who went before him/her, going it alone is a sure recipe for distress and high disappointment.

There is a steep learning curve, but there are so many tools, forums, and experts out there to help lend a helping hand that it’s really sad when someone tries to do things the hard way.

Failure # 33 – You Do Not Take Advantage Of Online Tools

We’ve discussed a number of tools as we went through this short report. There are many others just waiting to help you out with the job of automating important everyday tasks.

Once set in place, they free up time that you can spend elsewhere, raising your productivity.

It may take a bit of time to learn how to implement the tools, but the sooner you learn and implement them, the less time you will waste doing things manually from then on.

Failure # 34 – You Do Not Network Constantly

The Internet has facilitated the ease of meeting new people online. You will want to frequent Internet marketing forums, like the Warrior Forum at, and contribute to the group.

You can read some of the same issues that you are having and how people are resolving them. You can post your own questions and get answers from experts online.

The same is true with social networks. You can attract people who are in your niche and see what they’re doing to build their online businesses.

Befriend or follow as many Internet marketers as you can, watch how they promote themselves online, and then just copy them. Often, by viewing what they’re doing, you’ll get some great ideas to implement on your own sites.

Failure # 35 – You Do Not Listen To The Experts

Go where the experts are and listen carefully. Don’t just listen, but also do. Go out and implement some of what they’re promoting and see if it really works or not.

Some things will work for you and others won’t, but don’t blame it on the tools or the experts. It could just be your audience or niche is far different than what those methods were used on before.

Always customize everything you hear to your own sites and niches. Take into account that everything you hear has value, but you will be the one to decide exactly how it can work with your Internet marketing practices and sites.

By carefully discriminating between what works and what doesn’t for you personally, you keep tight control over the information out there and learn to sift the gold out of the sand very quickly.

If you can find someone who truly excites you and understands your niche, see if they offer a mentoring or coaching program.

These types of programs can be expensive, but they can literally catapult you into action and help you achieve in one year what it might take a few years otherwise.

Just be careful to choose reputable coaches and to always keep your eye on the results.

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Failing with one or more of the above points will have an adverse effect on your online marketing business. Often you will not even realize that you are lacking in some manner.

The only way you may discover the problem is when you are not getting the results that you have been expecting. This is not the ideal time…

Far better to have a look at your overall program right now, identify the weak areas that you may discover, and take action to address the problems…

If you do this on a regular basis, there is no reason that you cannot enjoy the same success that many other full time online marketers are having.

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This short tutorial has given you some reasons that people fail at internet marketing. I have tried to present them somewhat chronilogically so that as you start with your business, you can consider each.

The 36 potential failure areas I have presented are by no means the only reasons for failure, but if you do address each of these points as you build your online marketing business , your chances of success will rise markedly.

My recommendation is that you consider printing these and keeping the list close to your work area. Look through this list periodically and see which areas may be affecting your online marketing effort.

Lastly I cannot emphasize this enough: Take action to fix what you are failing at with your online business. Remember that just as with any other business, you have to treat your online  business as such.

Even if you are not completely failing at online marketing, the tutorial and list presented can likely help you review your program to see areas that you can improve on.

Best of luck everyone as you go and grow! You can do this!


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Please take a few moments and add in your thoughts and ideas on why people fail at internet marketing and what corrective actions to take to have success. It really helps when we share our ideas and experiences, and using the comment section below we can have a good discussion on the subject! Thanks in advance for your participation!


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